Just a heads up there's going to be a lot of sad personal stuff brought up so if you don't want to read this that's totally understandable.
Today's rewatch: Moana
Last time watched: July 6, 2017
How much did I like this movie when it came out?
I had some reservations about this movie because I didn't know for sure if it was going to be good especially since I hadn't seen too much stuff about it. But after hearing How Far I'll Go I knew I wanted to watch this movie even if it was just to hear that song on the big screen. My husband and I saw it for my birthday and even though the villain twist seemed a little meh to me, I still had an amazing time watching it and I loved the soundtrack so much that I downloaded all the songs that night for my flight the next day (I was visiting family for the holidays). While on the flight I listened to the song on repeat for several hours (12-15 hours including layover). Then while visiting my favorite for Christmas I saw Moana again after only just seeing it a couple days before and then I bought the official soundtrack which, once again, was played on repeat when one of my sisters and I were on a 2 1/2 drive to my dad's. I ended up preordering the dvd and bluray and got promotional images from the movie (just like with The Little Mermaid :P) and of course as soon as it was delivered I begged my husband to have us watch it that night.
On July 6, 2017, the last time I watched this movie, I had gotten a phone call from my mom. She told me that my dad, who had been diagnosed with cancer only a few months before and wasn't strong enough to get the treatment he needed, wasn't going to make it through the night. I was living in Indiana at the time with my husband while my entire family was in Washington so there was no way I was going to make it there in time to say goodbye. I didn't even see him after he was diagnosed, I thought there would be more time. I was getting married in September and his first grandchild was going to be born in November. I had been hoping and praying that he was going to be able to make it that long but instead we were going to lose him and I never got to see him or say goodbye. After the phone call I began to sob on the livingroom couch. My husband was working that night so I was home alone. I needed something to distract me from the pain so without thinking I put in Moana, laid on the couch while clutching the stuffed dog he gave me for my 18th birthday, and just watched the movie. As the movie went on there were scenes where I was sobbing; Moana saying goodbye to her grandmother, Maui leaving Moana, and Moana giving back the heart. By that time the pain was starting to be too much until...Gramma Tala came to Moana. I suddenly felt this small comfort that even though my dad was leaving me forever, he would still be with me in my heart. I owe this movie so much for being there for me on the worst night of my life, I'll always be grateful to Moana, both the movie and the character.
Why I love this movie so much:
I feel like a broken record saying this but I love the animation so much! The different designs of the characters and how they actually have realistic body types, the ocean, the 2D style animation used for some of the scenes, Te Ka's lava, everything.
As I've said before, I love the soundtrack for this movie. It's not as great as Aladdin's or The Little Mermaid's but it at least has a better soundtrack than Frozen.
Baby Moana still puts a big smile on my face. I have a huge soft spot for cartoon babies like Littlefoot and Tarzan and Moana is on that list with how kind and adorable she is.
Something I love about this movie is that this movie focuses on Moana actually accepting her role as future chief without acting like it's a death sentence and having her save her people and her home while working with a male companion without shoehorning a romance in. I love Disney movies with romance but it is refreshing to see a female lead without a romantic partner especially with all the Disney movies we have with male leads with no love interests.
There's a fan theory that I like to consider to be canon about the Heart of Te Fiti, how it kept Gramma Tala alive this whole time until she gave it to Moana, and it was because of the Heart that Moana was able make it through her journey safely, including going beyong the reef even after almost drowning the first time earlier that day.
I have a hard time understanding why people hate Hei Hei or find him annoying. He was just a silly chicken! His reaction to being out in the middle of the ocean still gets me laughing every time.
I think my favorite easter egg in this movie has to be Baymax in the kakamora scene. It's just so funny to see that adorable friendly face in a sea (lol) of murderous pirates.
I still like the "if you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess" quote, the same with his "if you start singing I'm gonna throw up" line. I don't consider it an insult for princesses or take it too seriously, it's just fourth wall breaking humor, which happens to be one of my favorite types of jokes in shows and movies.
In my opinion I think there were way too many jokes in this movie but at least most of them were genuinly funny. My favorite jokes were shark head, Maui throwing Moana off the boat several times, and "Ever defeat a lava monster?"/"No, have you?" There's some jokes I think could have been left out like the tweeting joke.
One of the things I love the most about Gramma Tala is she doesn't give a speech or try to convince Moana to try again, instead she lets Moana decide for herself what to do next without making her feel ashamed of failing.
I love Moana as much as I love the classic and renaissance princesses. There, I said it. She's not high on my list like Rapunzel is but I really don't think she deserves all the hate she gets. If you don’t like her then whatever but I had a hard time seeing her as annoying or a Mary Sue or bland. It could just be me not seeing the big issues but either way I love her. She was 12 on my list but now she's 9!
As I said before I thought there were a little too many jokes and I thought the movie could do without the kakamora scene but I still had a fun time. This movie was 9 on my list but now it's 8
Would I watch it again?
Next movie will be Brave/The Legend of Mor’Du!